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tv   The War Room  Current  April 17, 2013 3:00pm-3:55pm PDT

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, but what can happen even with the best of intentions evidence can be destroyed, and a whole very tenuous chain connecting a suspect to evidence can be lost. so it's really important to try and -- i know step back and that's what i think all of us are trying to do right now. >> michael: yeah, brian just going to your third generation nypd, you worked with the press presumably or seen colleagues and relatives do so could the press here have compromised this investigation by the way today went? >> let me say this. any time you have the press involved there is a risk that the investigation will be compromised. there's all kinds of stuff that gets leaked particularly in the national security area. that is a big problem.
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but today is no different than any other day. we have a free press in the united states, and it is that delicate balance, and these folks at the federal, state, and local level in boston are professionals sfwhachl we have to do is maybe step back and develop some kind of chain of command. because what sometimes happens there are well-meaning people in law enforcement who may have information that isn't wholly vetted or accurate at the time and a well-meaning journal list runs with something they legitimately think is a good story. >> michael: let's talk about the story itself. what do we know at this time, brian? >> we don't know much. and that's why -- you know, i always find myself talking myself out of being on television, which is fine. we know the type of device. we know the location. we know that there's a lot of
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video and film that is going to be gone through, and it is really meticulous. i was at the oklahoma city bombing trial, and what struck me was the level of detail that officers went to trying to piece together evidence, and that sometimes appears to give you a false positive and oftentimes the media genuinely well intended will run with something when it is a red herring or incomplete. >> michael: let's talk about some of that then. they reportedly have video that they think shows the suspect, but they don't know who he is. how can investigators use this video to find the suspect? is there facial recognition technology? or do they have to rely on people saying i know that guy? >> there is facial recognition technology, but to tell you the
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truth, honestly, when i was in a little kid i met a hero detective who solved a very tough case involving a sniper and i said how did you do it? and he wrote something that i can't repeat on the air, but it was basically knock on doors and get off of your derriere. facial recognition can only take you so far. i think it will be a member of the public. the reporting has been extraordinary, i think cnn, you guys, fox and msnbc have really done a very good job. and part of that is getting evidence in there that they think is important but when strung together it will come together, but is a very human
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intensive process. all of the photographs and video, really have to go through a set of eyes not a computer. >> michael: yeah, and that's amazing, and of course that's why we had you on brian, to talk about exactly how good of job we have done covering this story. but we really appreciate your input, because when we look at this evidence and videos we're here to surmise what could possibly have been hearing you talk about it in this way is pretty important. so thank you. brian levin always happy to have you here on "the war room." now we move to suspicious packages in the capitol. federal authorities say letters sent to president obama tested positive for the toxic substance ricin. here is jay corny today. >> there was a letter sent to,
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addressed to the president at an off-site mail facility it was noticed to contain a suspicious substance, and tests were undertaken. >> michael: thankfully it was intercepted before it reached the white house. since 9/11 all white house and congressional mail is sorted at a separation lobingation. this morning two floors evacuated when a letter was discovered there. in the hallway outside of senator richard shelby's office was cleared after reports that he also received a suspicious package. in phoenix there was report of a suspicious package at john
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mccain's office. and karl levin's office was evacuated because of similar circumstances. a man has been arrested with a backpack full of letters, and he is in custody. coming up rt rybak will give us his take on the votings, plus at least progressives have mark sanford to keep their sparts up. and later, scrutinized and also misunderstanding, a new documentary, revisits the remarkable life and times of angela davis. it's wednesday night, we're just getting started, you're in "the war room," and we'll be right back. party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets
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that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us.
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>> if you believe in state's rights but still support the drug war you must be high. >> "viewpoint" digs deep into the issues of the day. >> do you think that there is any chance we'll see this president even say the words "carbon tax"? >> with an open mind... >> has the time finally come for real immigration reform? >> ...and a distinctly satirical point of view. >> but you mentioned "great leadership" so i want to talk about donald rumsfeld. >> (laughter). >> watch the show. >> only on current tv. sglefrjts the united states senate let down an awful lot of people including the newtown families.
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i don't know how anybody who looked into the eye, could have voted the way they did today. >> michael: vice president joe biden summing up the failure of the senate to pass the manchin toomey gun legislation. six more votes were needed to overcome a filibuster. these four voted against it. minutes after the vote the progressive change campaign committee announced it will run ads against senator. harry reid supported the measure, but voted against it. that allows him to bring it up again for a vote. president obama put the blame squarely at the feet of senate republicans. >> obama: families that know unspeakable grief summoned the courage to petition their
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elected leaders, not just to honor the memory of their children, but to protect the lives of all of our children. a few minutes ago, a minority in the united states senate decided it wasn't worth it. >> michael: the amendment's odds looked so dim that joe manchin took to the senate floor this morning to make background a national security issue, by tying it to the fbi's most-wanted terrorist. >> our gun laws are so outdated and so out of whack that even this person who wants to do damage and harm to every american, even this american has figured out how to exploit them to arm themselves and people like him in our country. >> michael: connecticut senator chris murphy saw the result coming from a mile away. last night he tweeted . . .
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murphy of course represents newtown. in the 241 days since the slaughter of 20 school children and six educators, at least 3,482 americans have died in gun violence. that's about 134 new townes since newtown. these senators democrats and republicans, should be ashamed of themselves. they are the only people that can act to stop the horror of gun violence in america today and they failed the united states of america. joining me now to share more is rt rybak. he joining us his from city of minneapolis, minnesota. he is also a member of the group, mayors against illegal guns. welcome back. >> good to be back. >> michael: what is your take
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and your reaction to today's vote? >> well, first let's look at the progress. all right? and i'm a glass half full guy, and that's true. all right. we have a compromise from two senator who got a ratings from the nra. got the majority of votes. now let's look at the other reality. 20 children were slaughtered in a school along with six educators. nothing happened. stop and think about that. if these senator think they just took an easy vote they don't have to look in the eye of the nra, they have to look in the eye of the american people. the vast majority of nra members happen to believe in common sense background checks. the reality of this is a very very small group of very vested people in washington got to a few senator. some of them have an honest
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policy difference that happens. some of them were just chickens -- i won't finish the sentence. and i need them to know that those who think they took an easy vote will be facing lobbyists throughout the country now who are trained by violence and they will now look them in the eye and know they did nothing. this is only beginning. >> michael: it is, but let's say the twins are down 6-0, they tie the game at 6-6 and then they lose 8-6 in the end. you can say, yeah, they played pretty well, at least they showed spirit. but you do have disspirited fans leaving the ballpark. what do you say to the people who are so discouraged right now? >> i guess in baseball you say the old adage wait until next
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year, but politic isn't baseball, and it's not a game where you win and lose and it's over. we have moved the ball a little bit further. we're making progress here. i am -- i am happy slash disgusted that this didn't happen, but i have to tell you that the grassroots movement on this continues, and we're going to keep it up and we're going to keep it up, and we're going to keep it up because a couple of things, we don't have an option? what don't have a plan. if somehow the strategy is do nothing? i can't understand how that is tenable in any sort of democracy. you can argue, well, we're doing the wrong thing. somebody tweeted maybe you should deal with tougher law enforcement. we're doing that. maybe you should be dealing with mental health. we're doing that.
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but the fact of the matter is 40% of the guns in this country have no background check. thousands of people who if they went through normal screening couldn't get those guns otherwise. so thousands are out there, and that scares the heck out of me and scares me enough to keep working. >> michael: that is the sail ent point, what else can you do but keep working. after the vote today, the nra released a statement saying . . . the nra won this battle -- they won this battle mayor and what is going to happen in the war? >> everything i learned about this battle i new from the wizard of oz behind the curtain is somebody making a whole lot of gestures. 90% of the people in this
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country believe in common sense background checks. the problem is a lot of them aren't paying at attention to this debate. they are now. this has got a lot of people's at attention so we go back out and show people what is behind the big curtain. and more important we show people the fact that the alternative to acting is doing nothing in the wake of hideous actions, and that's not okay. >> major, today you participated in a google hang-out check. here is vice president biden. >> people have to make clear this is important to them. this is not just another issue. this is one of the big important issues for that 90% who think we should extend this. >> how much more vocal with you be than 90%? do you feel the public is being vocal right now? >> in the google chat, the vice
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president made a point that is really valid. the way these special interests groups work is sometimes a very small group of people who are single-issue voters can in a short term outweigh the vast majority of people who care about the issue but it's not their major issue. think about the people in arizona, for instance who know their congressman. gabby giffords had a community meeting, and others died there, and she was shot and hideous, hideous things. those people are thinking a little bit more. people in connecticut are thinking a little bit more. and connecticut, and you go on and on and on. and what we have to do is just keep forging a lobbying group
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who is forging horrible things out of this country. >> michael: we thank you our unofficial gun correspondent. earlier said it has been 241 days since newtown it has actually 124 days. which is even more shocking. today the most important story not being told. we'll pick that apart next right here in "the war room." ♪ (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. (vo) she's joy behar. >>current will let me say anything.
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>> michael: the senate's gang of eight unveiled its immigration bill today. it includes a path to citizenship for the undocumented workers who arrived here since 2012. here is how it would work . . . they can apply to what is called a registered provisional. this would allow them to stay in the u.s. without fear of deportation. after a six-year waiting period this status would be renewed if they continue to meet the requirements. after another four years the person can gold a green card and then can become eligible for citizenship. the path to citizenship would take 13 years and a minimum of
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$2,000 in fines plus back taxes. but wait there's more. it is contingent on stopping the future flow of illegal immigrants. the includes these things . . . this provision has been a sticking point for the white house. nevertheless, president obama issued a lukewarm statement of support, saying . . . immigration reformers are hopeful the bill will pass the senate, but it will face an uphill battle. we're joined by wayne slater, a senior political reporter for "the dallas news."
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thanks for being here. >> good to be here. >> michael: this is a 13-year path to citizenship. how does this really shake out in the real world, wayne? >> in the real world this may be the only way to do it. back in 1988, 2000, 2004 in jon mccain's race, the real problem for republicans was to articulate first border security and then a path to citizenship. so bill is actually very ambitious, has all kinds of things in it, but when you have all of these bits and pieces, obstacles, problems with respect to how you get into the country, how you get your green card, how you ultimately apply for citizenship, so long as they deal first with money and fences and everything the conservative right wants, it may be the only
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way to get this thing passed. >> michael: yeah when you paint it that way it is progress from where they have been. silicon valley said high-tech depended on skilled labor. this is a point-base system to get green cards which emphasizes skill and education. does this mean that mark zuckerberg and his chums got what they wanted? >> yes, it does. what you see now is a system that is tilted in a direction of do you have a member of the family here? this bill would move on a sliding scale over the years to do you have a business interest here? and the business interest also include silicon valley, the high-tech, the hb-1 workers who
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have a lot of knowledge in high-tech and other industries but also agricultural interest, but the most interesting thing to me, frankly is if this moves, one of the other ingredients is the involvement of evangelical pastors. who argue for it because the bible says so. when you put all of this together, my guess is the immigration bill certainly in the senate is going to have a better chance than what we saw today with the gun legislation. >> yes, sometimes strange bed bedfellows can help those things out. is there a chance this can drown again with this immigration
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bill? >> it could happen. you poison the legislation enough so that it gets pulled down. i'm not hearing that it is likely to happen in the senate. the real problem might be as you indicated earlier in the house, where john boehner is sending signals that he might break up the bill to deal with separate issues. you start doing that and you endanger the whole thing. >> michael: listening to everything that has been said about this bill there are a ton of intelligent cogent arguments concerning the details of the bill, and then there are ones like this from texas republican loui gohmert. >> we owe it to the immigrants that have come in legally to make sure they are safe as well. we know al-qaeda has camps on the other side of the mexican border. and they are being trained to
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come in and act like mexicans when they are radical islamists. >> remember this is the same guy% who said that -- warned against terror babies where pregnant morts were being put into the united states have baby's send them out to the middle east and then have them come back and bomb our cities. the appeal of loui gohmert is to try to link all of this stuff together but it is really the britters and ziophobes in the party. and he certainly doesn't have a lot of influence. >> michael: i also want to about
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another strange person mark sanford. the republicans are saying we're not going to spend another dime on this race. he is on his own. his colleague saying i am not going to make a comment. >> he is amazing, you try to sneak back into your house where your wife doesn't want you to be. and the whole story is amazing. at every turn he tries to make a comeback and then blows off his own foot in the process. this is an amazing opening for the democrats and stephen colbert's sister might very well win that race now. sanford is the whacky goofy, fore foreloern, republican sad sack i think.
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>> michael: yeah, and they brought this upon themselves. they could have elected his opponent and chose not to. wayne slater it is always fun. you can read wayne in the dallas daily news. there is a new documentary that tells the tail of a girl from birmingham alabama who made her way on to the fbi's most wanted list only to become a political icon. >> they began pulling in young tall black woman with a space between her teeth because they just had this description. headlines. real, gripping, current. documentaries... on current tv.
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>> michael: today in our march goes on series we take a look at one of the most notorious
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figures from the '70s, angela davis. news week asked . . . her alleged criminal actions branded her a terrorist, and spurred a global movement for her freedom as a political prisoner. and now 40 years after her acquittal on charges of murder kidnapping, and conspiracy a new film "free angela," gives us an inside look at the real woman. here is a piece of when days was extradited to california to new york. >> he indicated that he wanted the death penalty on each of the three charges, and he wanted the death penalty three times. that made me realize how serious they were and it made me realize that it wasn't about me because first of all i couldn't be killed three times.
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it was about the construction of this imaginary enemy, and, you know, i was the embodiment of that. >> michael: it took filmmaker cheryl lynch eight years and countless interviews with davis to get this documentary made. we are joined by her. >> thank you for having me. >> michael: how did she go from a 26-year-old professor to political icon. >> one of the things we have to understand about the '70s is young people really thought the revolution was just around the corner the anti-vietnam movement, the women's movement and angela davis is right in the middle of this. she joins the communist party,
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then governor reagan was like not on my watch, and gave her a media platform by trying to fire her. so she said yes, i am a communist, and then started to talk about political prisoners and other issues, and this catapulted this way into a crime to kidnap a judge that ended up in a shootout so when it was discovered the guns were registered in her name she was -- it was determined by the fbi and then by the government that she had to be the mastermind, and so the story catapults itself and it's a political crime thriller with a love story in the middle. >> michael: there is so much in what you said that should make anyone want to see this film. what was at the core of what davis was fighting for? >> she was -- it's in this kind
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of balance between national security and civil liberty. she was standing up for her political beliefs, and it skyrocketed and catapulted into this much larger thing. this incident that happened on august 7th, she wouldn't have been connected it to. but it was the crazy late 60s, early 70s when all of these young women were arming themselves for self-defense and they were sure the revolution was around the corner. >> michael: of course. i like that you are talking about that time in the united states, and we all have a picture of what it was like earlier, and how did it go from the 60s, peaceful it is inns, and then the '70s black power and militant feed. how did that happen? >> i think what happened with the civil rights movement was people were into that kind of protesting, and that was a very
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effective way to make great television, but what were the next steps? when change is always slow what were the next steps? so the next generation wanted to be more proactive. and i think what comes out of california along the lines of police harassment and brutality, the racial profiling is the panthers, and they decide to have guns -- which were legal to have, to defend their rights and communities, and again that is something that catapulted into this context of young people wants to change the world and make at it more just world. >> michael: i want to play another clip from the movie. let's take a look. >> there were unmarked cars parked across the street and i knew this was the fine and we were under surveillance.
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how many hundreds of black women with big afros were stopped on suspicious of being angela davis. >> michael: you look at the stop and fisk policies it seems like much hasn't changed, has it? >> well, i don't know if that is the case, but there's still -- what does remain the same is the balance between national security and civil liberties, and this idea of who is a criminal or who is a terrorist. we have to protect ourselves, at the same time we have to have due process and justice. and there is a rub there especially for people of color, and if you with pointing that out as something that is the same, then it is certainly the same. black women all over the country, regardless of whether they looked like her or not were stopped. when the fbi did in fact track her down, they had her, and said
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are you angela davis? and she didn't respond, and so they had to fingerprint her to be sure. >> michael: amazing. i want to see this film very badly, i hope you do too. we thank you for coming on "the war room." louisiana dodged a bullet when bobby gentel's tax plan went nowhere. but now he is advocating for teaching creationism in public schools. one of the reasons i would take him over kid president any daye.
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>> i have got no problem if a local school board says we want to teach your kids about creationism, that some people have these beliefs as well. i think teach them the best science, give them the tools where they can make up their own mind not only in science, but as you teach about other controversial issues whether
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it's global warming or climate change or these other issues what are we scared of? >> michael: you. that was bobby jindal advocating that schools teach creationism. in 2008, he signed the louisiana science education act which allows public school teachers to do just that. and thanks to a new law, millions in taxpayer dollars are going to teach this pseudo science. things like nessie, the loch ness monster was a dinosaur. a repeal failed, but that has not stopped them from fighting this good and necessary fight. joining me now is zack kopplin, who is a sophomore at rice university and is fighting to keep creationism out of public schools.
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he comes to us tonight from houston, texas. thanks for being with us. why did you decide to take on this issue? and what do you find troubling about the act? >> the louisiana science education act is a lou that allows, quote, critiques of established science like evolution and climate change using [ inaudible ] materials, and in that statement, he also indicated this to the louisiana science education act. this law allows do you critique these science with supplemental materials. the evolution issues aren't controversial to scientists, they are only controversial to louisiana politicians. so i began a campaign to repeal this bad law. >> michael: if you were able to sit down with governor jindal,
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what would you say to him? >> i would remind him that he's a down university biology major. he understands in his heart of hearts exactly how vital evolution is to biology, to medicine agriculture, and how we must be teaching our students that. governor jindal has said the republican party should stop being the stupid party. i think step number 1 would be for him to endorse a repeal of the act. >> michael: yeah, that would certainly seem like one step towards becoming a smart party. there are a lot of steps to be taken there. you have been documenting the slow and steady creep of anti-science bills across the country. what do you make of this trend? >> so these bills -- the bill first passed in louisiana, but tennessee passed a copycat bill and bills have been introduced
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all across the country. this is coming from a creationist think tank. like in louisiana we have the louisiana family forum to focus on the family to get this past. so that's really where it is coming from. >> michael: listen to paul brown in georgia. >> all of that stuff i was taught about evolution, and embriology, all of that is laws straight from the pit of hell. >> michael: he is a sitting member on the house committee of science space and technology. how outraged does that make you? >> in our fight we caught on board the support of 78 noble
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sciencists, and they have made some of the most incredible advancements in science. so representative brown should listen to them and until he realizes that real evidence-based science is what we need to teach, be studying what we need to base our -- like world off, i think it's a very scary thought based on that committee. >> michael: do you want to run for office one day or just keep fighting this fight as someone on the outside. >> as i mentioned this problem is a lot larger than louisiana and a lot larger than creationism. we just cut $50 billion in science research in the budget sequester. so i want to see an end to acts like these. you also mentioned school vouchers which we have schools
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receiving public money that are teaching creationism, and this is a second giant leap in honor of neal armstrong's favorite words. >> michael: you didn't answer if you are thinking about running to be a politician. which is exactly the answer you are supposed to give. bravo. zack kopplin is coming us to from texas. someone is always in our "war room" here. check us out please online at that's also where you can link up to our twitter and facebook page. thanks for joining us here in "the war room," have a great night. and if you are a senator who voted against the gun bill have a sleepless one. we'll be back here tomorrow. "young turks" are next.
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[ ♪ theme music ♪ ] >> cenk: welcome to the "the young turks." the gun control bill, do you think it was shot down? i can't say that. but it wasn't down. it did go down, and my favorite moment when people started yelling from literally the stands shame, shame on you! because it is a shame on them. we'll get to that story in a minute. but what a ride with in terms of the boston bombing.
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